This is my review of the Rep Fitness Stainless Steel Power Bar V2.
As with all the reviews on GymCrafter.com, I only review products I’ve bought and used myself, and I only review gear I’ve owned and used long enough to know how it will hold up for you over the long haul.
With that in mind, it’s time for me to review the Rep Fitness stainless steel power bar V2. I’ve owned this bar and used it as the primary barbell in my garage gym for over three years.
The Short Version
In short, the stainless steel power bar V2 by Rep is my most recommended barbell. It’s one of the least expensive end-to-end stainless steel barbells on the market. It has a comfortable, grippy knurl that is perfect for most people training at home. It’s made exceptionally well and, with care, should last you a lifetime of training!
I’ve owned and tried a ton of different barbells, and there are only a few that I would buy again. This stainless steel bar by Rep is definitely one of those!
The full review below will outline the pros and cons I found over the last three years while using this bar. I’ll also give you some alternatives in case this barbell is not ideal for you.
My Video Review of the Rep SS Power Bar
|Loadable Sleeve Length||16.9″|
|Shaft Coating||None (Stainless Steel Bar)|
|Static Rating||1,500 lbs.|
|Tensile Strength||200 KSI|
Pros and Cons of the Rep Stainless Power Bar V2
- End-to-end stainless steel construction
- Highly resistant to corrosion
- 1,500 lb capacity
- Knurl pattern gives excellent grip
- Solid sleeve spin
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Inexpensive when compared to similar bars
- Excellent all around barbell
- Packaging and shipping could be better
- Often out of stock
The Things I Like Most About the Rep Fitness SS Power Bar V2
As the name implies, the Rep power bar V2 is a powerlifting bar. If you’ve spent any time reading the articles here on GymCrafter, you’ll know that a power bar (as opposed to an Olympic lifting bar – see my full explanation of the differences here) is what I recommend to almost every garage gym owner.
The bar diameter (29mm in this case) and the center knurl (see why you want one here) are the key features of a power bar that benefit most garage gym owners.
There are two things I love about the knurling on this bar. First, the center knurl is a bit more passive than the rest of the bar. This allows you to use this for movements like cleans without the knurl scratching your chest. At the same time, the center knurl still gives a great grip on your back while squatting. This is one of the things that makes this an ideal all-around bar for garage gyms!
The second thing I love about the knurling is the just about perfect grip I get on this bar. The knurl is grippy without being too aggressive. It’s the perfect amount for the average garage gym owner.
This Rep barbell has great sleeve spin due to its bushing design and material (I prefer bushings to bearings, see why here) and a beautiful end-to-end stainless steel finish. That means there is no finish to wear off on the sleeves or bar, and this bar will look amazing the entire time you own it!
When you grip this bar, you are gripping the bare metal itself. This, in my opinion, provides the best feel. I love the feeling of the bare metal in my hands, and I truly believe this type of bar is best for “feeling” the weight you are lifting.
The stainless steel finish also means you won’t have to worry about corrosion over time. Stainless steel is, hands down, the most corrosion-resistant bar material you can buy.
Things about the Rep Fitness SS Power Bar That I Don’t Like
My biggest gripe about this barbell is the way it was shipped. I have yet to receive a barbell from Rep with the intact packaging. It always looks like the shipping tube has been shredded and reassembled with packing tape.
About half the time, there has been cosmetic bar damage under the packing tape. Never anything that makes the bar unusable, but it does bother me to start off with a scratched bar, especially at this price point.
That said, Rep has always been very responsive when I call to let them know about the shipping issues. They have also opened two new warehouses to ship from. This should significantly cut down on this type of issue going forward.
The other issue I’ve seen with this bar is a tiny amount of rust on some people’s bars. This has never happened to my bar or anyone I know who owns this bar, but there are a few people out there who have posted complaints and I wanted to mention it here.
I’ve used this bar almost daily for three years. I wipe it down when I’m done (never leave salt, sweat, or chalk on ANY barbell after use!), and I lubricate the bushing every six months or so.
There is zero rust on my bar.
When I look closely at the images showing rust, I always see a bar that hasn’t been wiped down after use. There is almost always chalk stuck in the knurling too. Leaving chalk on your bar is the quickest way to end up with a rusty barbell!
It’s important to keep in mind that ANY steel can rust, including stainless steel (source). Just because stainless is the most corrosion-resistant doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still take care of it. Proper bar maintenance is important to the lifespan of any barbell, including a stainless steel one!
If you take care of this bar, it will last you a very long time!
Who Is the Rep SS Power Bar Good For?
As I stated earlier, this is my single most recommended barbell. If it fits your budget (see the current pricing on Rep here), this could be the only barbell you’ll ever need to buy for your garage gym.
Anyone doing standard barbell training at home will love this bar. It’s an excellent bar for beginners and experienced lifters alike.
This is also an ideal bar for those who only want to buy one barbell. It’s a terrific all-purpose bar that will work in almost any application.
Finally, anyone living in a high-corrosive environment (near the ocean, in particular) should consider an all stainless steel barbell. There are a few good ones out there, but I think this is one of the best!
Who shouldn’t use the Rep Fitness SS Power Bar?
There are two people I wouldn’t recommend this bar to.
The first is the CrossFit athlete/Olympic lifter. That’s a very specific type of lifting requiring a very specific bar. For that type of training, an Olympic lifting bar like this one from Rep is a much better choice. If this is you, you’ll also want a second barbell. The Rep SS power bar would be a great choice for this.
The second is someone on a tight budget. While this is one of the least expensive stainless steel barbells on the market, it’s not what I would call inexpensive.
Alternatives To The Rep Fitness Stainless Steel Power Bar V2
As I noted above, this bar is not ideal for those doing CrossFit or Olympic lifting. If this is you, and you love the idea of a stainless steel barbell (and who doesn’t!?), then the Rep Excalibur Olympic lifting bar is for you! Check it out here on the Rep Fitness site.
I’d go with Rep’s Sabre barbell in a zinc finish for those on a budget. Make sure to order it WITH a center knurl, but you can get it without, too, if that’s your preference (see why I recommend one here). You can check the current pricing on the Rep Sabre bar here.
Want something higher-end than the Rep bar? Got the budget to splurge a little? In that case, I’d head over to American Barbell and pick up their Elite power bar. American Barbell is known for having the tightest tolerances in the game and has been making barbells longer than most of today’s fitness companies have been around.
If you couldn’t tell, I really like the Rep Fitness stainless steel power bar V2. It’s been my primary barbell for over three years now. I have, at any time, no less than five other barbells in my gym that I’m testing for GymCrafter, and time after time, I return to this bar from Rep when I just want to get in there and train!
I have yet to have someone buy it and tell me they were disappointed in any way. The only knock I’ve ever heard on this bar is the rust issue I went over above, and I genuinely believe those are more bar car issues than issues with the bar itself!
With that, head over to the Rep Fitness website now and pick up your new stainless steel barbell! I know you’ll be happy you did!
I see some bars with higher tensile strength. Wouldn’t one of those be better?
No. Higher tensile strength does not mean a better bar. As with many things in life, more isn’t necessarily better. Once a barbell has passed about 165,000 – 180,000 KSI (source), you are good to go.
Don’t get bogged down in this statistic. 99.9% of all lifters cannot tell the difference between two bars of different tensile strengths once you are past those minimums.
What is the knurling like on the Rep SS power bar?
The knurling on the Rep Fitness stainless steel power bar V2 is listed as “medium,” and I agree. For me, it’s the perfect knurling for almost all garage gym owners.
For people who like a more aggressive knurl pattern, Rep makes the stainless steel power bar EX. It’s the exact same bar, just with much more aggressive knurling.
Is Cerakote better than stainless steel?
Cerakote is a finish designed initially for firearms. It’s become popular in the fitness space as it’s a great way to add many different colors to a barbell. While it is highly corrosion-resistant, it’s still not as durable as stainless steel.
The more significant difference is the feel. To me, Cerakote feels awful in my hands. You can absolutely tell there is a finish on the bar, and the bar itself no longer feels like metal. I’ll trade pretty colors for a better feel any day of the week!
Rep Fitness Stainless Steel Power Bar V2 Review
A great case can be made making the Rep Fitness stainless steel power bar V2 the ideal barbell for almost all home and garage gyms. It's one of the least expensive end-to-end stainless steel barbells and is a great choice when selecting a barbell for your home gym.
Product Brand: Rep Fitness
Product In-Stock: InStock